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View of a Fast Food establishment (thermopolium, popina, taberna) at Pompeii. Food and drink were sold and consumed here Note the large storage jars that are built into the masonry and marble counters. The walls and upper floor(s) of this structure have been destroyed.
83 thermopolia have been discovered at Pompeii. These were small cook–shops where hot and cold food was sold. They were used primarily by the lower classes as the elites would dine in the luxurious surroundings of their own homes. The houses of lower classes of people rarely had kitchens, thus they would eat at an establishment such as this, or they would "carry out" the food to take back home. These thermopolia were situated street side on the ground floor of apartment buildings and even elite houses.
Besides the 83 discovered at Pompeii, thermopolia have also been discovered at nearby Herculaneum and at Ostia, the port of Rome.